Restoring Ray Bourbon’s Recorded Legacy: An Update

In the 1990s, when I first began researching Ray’s life and work, I got copies of most of his recordings from various collectors, mostly on cassette tape.  I also dubbed all of his lp recordings to digital.  These were briefly released on cd through a “print on demand” service.  When that service folded, I offered … Continue reading Restoring Ray Bourbon’s Recorded Legacy: An Update

Research on Ray, Summer 2019

Research on Ray has been an ongoing process over the past twenty-five years, sometimes with fits and starts and often with long periods where nothing turns up. Here’s an overview of what I’m currently researching about Ray and leads I’m following this summer.  If you have any ideas on places to look or resources to … Continue reading Research on Ray, Summer 2019

Ray Bourbon and a Member of the Chinese Royal Family?

Ray's incomplete autobiography, written while he was in prison, along with his letters, are really the only documents we have were Ray tells his own story.  Remarkably, as outlandish as many of the stories are, doing a little digging can usually confirm that what Ray said was true or had some basis in fact. I … Continue reading Ray Bourbon and a Member of the Chinese Royal Family?

What Was Ray Bourbon’s Real Name?

Once every few years, I've gone into sites like ancestry.com looking for more information about Ray's parents and family.  While Ray himself turns up in official records, starting in the 1930s with his registration for a Social Security card, and we've found newspaper articles mentioning Ray as far back as 1920, nothing about Ray's parents … Continue reading What Was Ray Bourbon’s Real Name?

Ray Bourbon and Bob Hope

One of the most curious questions about Ray Bourbon I've been trying to sort out for several years is how he became friends with Bob Hope. There are several second-hand reports that Ray knew Hope and that Hope attended shows at Ray's nightclub in Los Angeles.  Ray's lawyer, in an interview about a decade after … Continue reading Ray Bourbon and Bob Hope